The Latest: Employee says 2 of 3 killed were co-workers

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PELLA, Iowa (AP) — The Latest on the crash of a pickup into a Wal-Mart store in southern Iowa that killed three people (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

An employee of an Iowa Wal-Mart where three people were killed when a truck crashed through a front entrance says two of those killed were his co-workers.

Don French, who was off-duty Thursday morning and shopping in the Pella store at the time of the crash, told the Des Moines Register that he heard the crash and rushed to see what had happened. He found a horrific scene with the pickup truck inside the store, crashed into a refrigerated fresh produce display, and severely injured people. Three people were killed and two injured, including the driver of the truck.

French became emotional when he said he was told two of the dead were co-workers. Authorities had not released the identities of those killed and injured by late Thursday afternoon.


3 p.m.

A pickup truck that crashed into a southern Iowa Wal-Mart, killing three people, entered through the front doors on the grocery portion of the store and came to a rest after hitting a merchandise display near the produce section.

Witnesses told Knoxville, Iowa radio station KNIA/KRLS that the truck was traveling at a high rate of speed at the time of the crash, which happened just before 10 a.m. Thursday. The crash killed three people — all outside the vehicle — and injured the driver and another person. None of those killed or injured have yet been identified.

The store was evacuated and closed Thursday as law enforcement investigated.

An employee at the store, Judy Playle, of Leighton, told the Des Moines Register that the crash came as "a big shock" that left store employees terrified.


1:45 p.m.

An Iowa State Patrol spokesman says the crash of a pickup truck into a southern Iowa store that killed three appears to have been an accident.

Patrol Sgt. Nathan Ludwig said Thursday that investigators "don't have any reason to believe it was intentional," but are looking into all scenarios.

Ludwig said the crash just before 10 a.m. killed three people — all outside the vehicle — and injured the driver and another person. He says none of those killed or injured were children.

Authorities have not yet released the identities of those involved as officials work to inform family members of the casualties. Lugwig said Thursday afternoon that he did not have the medical conditions of those hurt.

A photograph posted by the Des Moines Register shows the pickup came to rest in the fresh produce aisle of the store with merchandise scattered on the floor.


1:05 p.m.

Authorities say three people were killed and two injured when a pickup truck rammed through a front door at a Wal-Mart store in the southern Iowa city of Pella.

Police Chief Robert Bokinsky confirmed the fatalities to Knoxville radio station KNIA ( ) and said that the truck driver was one of the two people injured in the crash just before 10. a.m. Thursday. Bokinsky says the crash appears to have been accidental.

The names of those killed and injured have not been released. It's unclear whether they were customers, store employees or a mixture. The store was evacuated after the crash.

Wal-Mart management said in a statement: "We're heartbroken by what appears to be a tragic accident."

Pella is 38 miles southeast of Des Moines.


Information from: KNIA-AM,

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